December 20, 2010

Andre, Morris & Buttery Tapped for JUSTIN Winery Sale

Complex transaction required team of legal experts

PASO ROBLES, CA — Central Coast law firm Andre, Morris & Buttery was retained by Justin and Deborah Baldwin to represent them in the merger of their privately held JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery of Paso Robles into a new company owned by Los Angeles businessman Stewart Resnick. The prestigious JUSTIN label sold for an undisclosed amount to the owner of Fiji Water, Teleflora, POM Wonderful and Paramount Citrus among and other companies. The sale included vineyards, an on-site bed and breakfast inn and winery operations for the high-profile winery whose offerings included the elite Isosceles label. JUSTIN Winery is the flagship of the so-called “Far Out Wineries” of western Paso Robles’ burgeoning wine country.

According to Michael Morris, Andre, Morris & Buttery principal and leader of the merger team, the sale involved complex financial, real estate and regulatory issues unique to the wine industry. Morris was joined by firm principals Beth Marino in executing a local industry record-setting merger agreement on behalf of the Baldwins, longtime clients of the firm. “It was a great pleasure to work with the Baldwins in the sale of their award-winning winery. Justin and Debby have been leaders in the Central Coast wine industry and we were privileged to have the opportunity to guide them through the legal process that transferred the JUSTIN success to the Resnick’s family of businesses,” Morris said.

Justin Baldwin commented on the confidence he and his wife, Deborah, have in Andre, Morris & Buttery. “We are fortunate to have a law firm here on the Central Coast with the expertise and experience to negotiate an agreement of this magnitude,” Justin Baldwin said. “Michael and his team were nothing short of extraordinary.”

This transaction marks the second significant wine deal on the Central Coast in the last two years. The same Andre, Morris & Buttery legal team represented Terry Speizer, as seller in the sale of the Domaine Alfred Winery, to Crimson Wine Group, a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corporation, in late 2008. Now operating as Chamisal Vineyards, Domaine Alfred has been a major producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines in the Edna Valley.

Andre, Morris & Buttery is a 62-year-old business law firm with offices in San Luis Obispo, and Santa Maria. For more information, visit www.amblaw.com.

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